‘A Love Language’ Is A Homegrown Series Of Tattoo Designs Celebrating Gujarati

‘A Love Language’ Is A Homegrown Series Of Tattoo Designs Celebrating Gujarati

As an onlooker for me, Mumbai-based self-taught machine tattoo artist Utsavi Jhaveri’s work Border-Line Tattoos at its core seems both a celebration of Indian artforms, women and South-Asian bodies but in an earlier conversation with Homegrown, she’d said, “I’d say while it’s a celebration, it is also an attempt to introduce something authentically South Asian into the world of tattooing, done in a style that’s mine.”

Painting distinct motifs and unique imagery onto the blank canvas that is the skin, the scope of her work expands beyond just tattooing. A unique and multi-faceted artist in every sense of the word, Utsavi is paving a new way for South-Asian tattoo artists as she reclaims her roots, revels in the beauty of needlework and how tattooing weaves it all together.

Her latest project is ‘A Love Language-Words in Gujarati’ is a collection of tattoo designs that celebrate her mother tongue. Of the series she says, “As a child, I went to a British school in Mumbai where we would get a slap on our wrists if we were found speaking in any language other than English. At once I took immense pride in being able to speak and write immaculately in English. But as I traveled more and got older, I realised how little I knew my own language. My practice has always been aimed at decolonising myself as well as the tattoos I create, and ‘A Love Language’ does just that.”

“These are words written in Gujarati script that take me back to my summer holidays that I spent with my nani and cousins in Ahmedabad. These words are selected with the goal of bringing a smile to the reader’s face” she adds. Her flash tattoo list includes these Gujarati words and their English translations:

Rotli - Chapati/roti

Saathe - Together

Ajwaadu - Sunshine

Patangyu - Butterfly

Behenpani - Female friendship/friend

Varta - Story

Varsaad - Rain

Bageecho - Garden

Unaado - Summer

Hichko - Swing

Galudiyu - Puppy

Vaadki - Small bowl

Check out Border-Line Tattoos here.

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